2 indicted in killing of deli owner

Suspects from Baltimore charged with first-degree murder, armed robbery


October 23, 2003|By Lisa Goldberg | Lisa Goldberg,SUN STAFF

Two Baltimore men were indicted yesterday on murder and related charges in connection with the fatal shooting this month of a Jessup deli owner, who was walking into his shop carrying a bag filled with $125,000 in cash.

A Howard County grand jury returned indictments against Walter James Blannon, 38, and Reginald Venable Jr., 46, on charges of first-degree murder, armed robbery, handgun use, felony assault and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Kwang Jun Kim, 53, was shot in the head Oct. 8 as he struggled with two assailants who tried to grab the money, which he used for a check-cashing service at his convenience store and deli in the 7800 block of Washington Blvd., law enforcement officials said. Kim died later that day at Howard County General Hospital.

Authorities said the suspects fled, sparking a police chase through Howard and Baltimore counties and into Baltimore City.

Authorities said Venable, of the 800 block of E. 33rd St., was shot by a Baltimore County police officer after he pointed a gun at the officer. Venable was released from Maryland Shock Trauma Center on Saturday and is being held in the hospital at the Metropolitan Transition Center, a prison facility in Baltimore.

Blannon, of the 1600 block of N. Calvert St., was arrested at the scene. He was being held without bail at the Howard County Detention Center.

Both men have prior robbery convictions, according to charging documents.

Authorities recovered two guns - a .357-caliber, five-shot revolver that contained two spent shell casings and a .32-caliber handgun - after arresting both men on South Athol Avenue in West Baltimore.

The .32-caliber handgun was found on the ground near Venable after he was shot, according to charging documents. The .357-caliber revolver was found on the front floor board of the Chevrolet Malibu that the men were driving, the documents said.

Police also found a money bag containing $125,000 in cash and bank deposit slips with the name of Kim's business in the car, according to charging documents.

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